Hypnolove: A Boy's Toy (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, October 01, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When given real power, Shinta finds himself going for the gusto by making every girl his slave.

What They Say
Shinta Murakoshi just scored the best toy a guy could ever ask for: a hypnotic gun. Armed with the power to make anyone do anything at any time, he sets off to fulfill his fantasies and turn every woman he meets into his secret personal love slave!

The Review!
Hypnolove has a pretty standard presentation for its audio side with a pair of tracks in stereo encoded at 192kbps. The show is what you’d expect to get from an adult release in that it’s all about the dialogue and expression thereof, so it’s center channel based for the forward soundstage. It does sound quite good as it goes through the episode, but it’s the kind of show that really isn’t going to dazzle in the slightest. It has a solid sound to it that’s free of problems and we had no dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally released in 2009, the transfer for this show is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The episode really has some good looking colors to it, very vibrant and strong without being oversaturated or bright to the point of distraction. There’s some slight noise in a few areas but it’s very small and not terribly noticeable overall. Cross coloration is a non-issue but there is some mild jaggies to be found within the animation itself, notably with Midori’s hair. Beyond that however, this is a good looking show that will generally please with its visuals and transfer.

The first volume of this short series has a very good cover with a trio of the girls from the show, one a teacher and two students, looking all flushed and nervous about what’s going to happen to them against their will. The characters look good and the colors are very appealing, only adding to it with some very good shading. The logo is nicely designed and kept to the bottom so the focus isn’t taken away from the selling point of the artwork itself. The back cover has a fairly traditional Critical Mass layout with several shots from the show spread out, a bit bigger than most other companies do them, and a brief summary of the premise for this episode. The rest is given over to some basic production information and a technical grid. It’s worth noting that the grid is in large error here as it says it is sixty minutes when it’s really thirty minutes, making you think you’re getting two episodes instead of one. No show related inserts re included with this release nor is there a reversible cover.

The menus for Hypnolove take from both the front and back covers to make a decent looking piece. The background uses the hypnosis visual from the background of the back cover and on top of that brings in the front cover artwork to a smaller box on top of it. That looks a bit softer and less defined than the actual cover artwork which is a little disappointing. The navigation is along the right and it uses a cute piece for the navigation icon as you move up and down. Submenus load quickly and the entire piece is simple but quick and easy to use while also being fitting for the show itself. The release gets a bonus for actually showing what the language selections are set for even after they’re changed.

The only extra, outside of the trailer made for the show, is a brief art gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
With the lack of volume numbering, I managed to see the second episode of this series before the first, and rather liked it. That at least to me shows that the two part OVA series has some good material to it since it felt like there should be a good bit more after that. Going back to the first episode afterwards was a bit awkward though since you know where a lot of it is going. That said, this is a fun little show that deals with hypnosis and seeing the setup for what I’ve already seen gives you a different view of it.

The show revolves around high school student Shinta, a young man who has some real issues that are bubbling just under the surface. His life changes dramatically when he mysteriously receives a strange looking boxy gun that actually allows him to instantly hypnotize anyone. Giving them key phrases that make sense only to him, he’s able to bend them to his will. And like any good little depraved teenager, he sets everyone up to be his sexual conquest and for them to not remember it when they’re done, at least in general. Once he has the device, he tests it out easily enough on a couple of attractive female students and puts them through the wringer as he takes advantage of them. He also steps up his game by taking a teacher down a peg or two with it but he also does it – and her – while the principal is watching and under his control. A rather creepy control at that since he instructs the man to masturbate himself to death, which sets up the teacher for the position of acting principal at some point.

The single episode on this disc is all about the setup as it introduces a new character at the end that really piques Shinta’s curiosity. For the most part though, this is all about Shinta going wild with his new found freedom with these women by hypnotizing them and having his way with them. He takes it in the unusual direction with the principal, but other than that it is a fairly straightforward piece. The character animation is good, the designs themselves are solid and appealing and there’s a feeling that something of a budget went into this with the backgrounds and overall look of it. Vanilla shows have been hit or miss for some time, but this one definitely looks more like they want it to be a hit.

In Summary:
The opening salvo for Hypnolove is a fun little bit. There’s something charming about it, non-consensual as it is, because it doesn’t try to hide what it is. Shinta’s a jerk to be sure, and more based on his actions, but he’s honest about himself and the way he plays his role to the appearance of others. He’s also got good taste when it comes to the women he selects and goes after, right up to and including the new transfer student at the end. There’s a lot left unsaid here, some of which is dealt with in the second episode, but for the most part this delivers on what it should. Good looking characters having their boundaries pushed by someone who has no issues in doing so.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment

Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 18 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Critical Mass Video
MSRP: 19.99
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Hypnolove